Injuria Sine Damno

Sai Manoj Reddy

Injuria Sine Damno is used in law of torts and is related to damages. The meaning of the above maxim is infringement of an absolute private right without any actual loss or damage. Here the actual damage means physical loss in terms of money, comfort, health, etc. This maxim says that in the law of torts the infringement of right is itself considered as damage and there is no need to prove that an actual damage is caused. To make it clear “whenever a person has sustained what the law calls as ‘injury’ he may bring an action without being under the necessity of proving special damage, because the injury itself is taken to imply damage”. We can take many examples regarding this maxim. If a person comes to your home without your permission and  roams all around in your home and leaves your home, here there is no actual damage caused but your private legal right has been infringed. To explain this maxim in terms of application the following case laws will be helpful.

  1. Ashby v. White

In this case the  defendant, the returning officer, wrongfully refused to register a duly tendered vote of  plaintiff, a legally qualified voter, at a parliamentary election and the candidate for whom the vote was tendered was elected, and no loss was suffered by the rejection of the vote. Here the defendant maliciously refused to register the vote of plaintiff. This is considered as legal damage caused to plaintiff as it is infringement of the fundamental rights of a person who has right to vote and is unconstitutional. The court held that the action was allowed on the ground that the violation of plaintiff’s statutory right was an injury for which he must have a remedy and was actionable without proof of pecuniary damage.

  1. Bhim Singh v/s State of Jammu and Kashmir. [AIR 1986 Sc. 494]:

In this case the petitioner was an MLA of Jammu and Kashmir assembly was wrongfully detained by the police while he was going to attend the assembly session. He was not produced before the magistrate within the requisite period. As the consequence of this the member was deprived of his constitutional right to attend the assembly session. There was also violation of fundamental right to personal liberty guaranteed under article 21 of India constitution. In this case the court ordered to pay exemplary damages of Rs. 50,000 to the petitioner.

Thus the maxim ‘ínjuria sine damno’ means that infringement of a legal right will give rise to action irrespective of the fact that no actual loss or damage has taken place.